Quick note about the next few days for The Sheet.
I’ll be on a quick mini-vacation with the family until Monday so we’ll be back here blogging again on Tuesday morning. And on a related note, I want to thank everyone for the feedback I’ve received about the blog so far. It’s a lot of fun putting this together every day and from what I can gather most of you dig it. Thanks for making it worth the effort.
Some interesting comments that won’t sit well with the Washington Capitals and their fans by former Caps forward Matt Bradley this morning on the Team 1200 in Ottawa.
Asked why the Caps have fizzled in the playoffs the past couple of seasons the new member of the Florida Panthers at first was hesitant to go after players individually but said the locker room was too “nonchalant” and some players weren’t disciplined enough or were indifferent in their play.
Going further he added it seemed that guys who weren’t playing well were the ones rewarded with ice time, which is a killer in the playoffs.
Anybody want to guess who he’s talking about?
Bradley did go on to mention one player in particular, Alexander Semin, who he said has the skills to be one of the top players in the NHL but doesn’t always show up, doesn’t care and Bradley got the sense that Semin wants to be back in Russia.
Get your Cats/Caps tickets now, fans.
Consistency has been a knock against Semin from day one and probably one of the key reasons why the Caps have been hesitant to sign him to a long-term deal. This isn’t a new criticism of Semin or the Caps for that matter. The talent is there to be a perennial Stanley Cup contender but when confronted by adversity the Caps haven’t found a way to fight through it. And while that’s not to say eventually they will figure it out, it’s just still not there for them.
The Hockey News recently picked Washington to win the Stanley Cup but until the issues that Bradley discussed on Ottawa radio this morning are addressed expect more of the same unfulfilled promise from this explosive and entertaining team.
You can hear the entire Bradley interview here. (Comments on Capitals’ playoff failures at 8:30 mark.)
1926: Gord Henry born in Owen Sound. Henry played eight games with the Boston Bruins from ’48-’53 and during that time was widely regarded as the best goalie outside of the NHL. His career has a horrible end to it. In 1955 while playing for Hershey he was involved in a head-on car crash that killed his wife and injured all passengers in the car. While recuperating in hospital, Henry was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife. The crash ended his career, needless to say.
1947: Jim Dorey born in Kingston, Ont. “Flipper,” as he was called for his propensity to flip the puck out of the zone, was one tough hombre. During a 1971 Maple Leafs Christmas Day exhibition practice for hundreds of Toronto school kids he threw down with Rick Ley after a collision along the boards.
1959: Craig Levie born in Calgary. Played from ’81-’87 with Winnipeg, Minnesota, St. Louis and Vancouver. Most notable story about Levie was when Minnesota loaned him to Davos of the Swiss league in the summer of 1986 so the Stars could use Ron Wilson (now Leafs head coach) for the entire next season and playoffs. Wilson was still under contract to the Swiss team when he played with the Stars. Levie injured his groin after a handful of games with Davos and returned to the NHL to sign with the Canucks, where he played nine games. He closed out his career playing in Italy.
1983: St. Louis replaces Emile Francis with Jacques Demers behind the bench.
1983: Minnesota signs Dirk Graham as a free agent. While many claim Jarome Iginla was the NHL’s first black captain (named by the Flames in 2003), technically Graham was the first when Mike Keenan named him leader of the Hawks in January 1989. One of Graham’s parents is of mixed-race.
1992: Brian Trottier retires from the NHL and takes a position in the front office with the New York Islanders. One of the greatest players the game has ever seen. Little known fact, Trottier was the lead singer in a Country and Western band called The Trottier Family run by Bryan’s father Buzz. This C & W version of the Partridge family mainly played at rodeo shows in Western Canada.
1992: The Montreal Canadiens trade Mike McPhee to the Minnesota North Stars for a 5th-round draft pick (Jeff Lank). McPhee injured his left knee during Dallas’ training camp in ’94 and never returned to the NHL after the lockout. In retirement, he did some work with Pinnacle Sports Cards.
1993: San Jose signs free agent Bob Errey. Was Steve Yzerman’s linemate with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL. Errey is the third cousin of Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay.